Thursday, 8 November 2012

Staying Legal Online for Educators

"Thou Shalt Not Steal"

This week I was part of an interesting discussion with other educators concerning the use of digital images online.

My question to them was "Is everything online free for the taking?"

We were, of course, discussing the use of digital images taken from the Internet, eg. from Google Images. Several teachers genuinely thought that unless there was a copyright logo or watermark on the images that you were free to use them as you please.

The whole discussion reminded me of a workshop I ran at a conference last year titled "Thou shalt not steal - what every educator should know about staying legal online" (embedded below).

The workshop is from a New Zealand perspective, but applicable to educators world wide. As educators we are working in an ever-increasingly digital world. Digital technologies have revolutionised how creative works (eg. photos, videos etc) are made, distributed and used.

The short answer is that NO.
You just cannot take anything you find online and use it how you please.

Image: 'hoist the jolly roger mr crab, there be looting to be done!
Found on

Are you a pirate?

Do you take images, movies, text, music freely from the Internet?

Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons are concepts ALL educators need to begin to understand.

If we expect our students not to plagiarise and copy information off the Internet, as educators, we must model good copyright practices too.

Below is the presentation that you may be interested in viewing. 
Several legal alternatives for digital publishing are suggested as well as ways you can protect your digital content

Videos referenced in the presentation are:

Copyright, what's copyright?

What is Creative Commons (Kiwi version)

So, what are your favourite websites to get copyright free or Creative Commons based teaching resources from?

Saturday, 29 September 2012

eFellows Reflection 2012

The #efellows 2012 journey has nearly ended and what an extraordinary journey it has been with truly inspiring and amazing educators!

and of course me, @rachelboyd

In the video below, we reflected on our year so far as eFellows and our advice for the 2013 group of eFellows (announced shortly at the ULearn conference!)


Because, what is OBVIOUS to you is AMAZING to others x

Monday, 27 August 2012

You Tube and Class Blogs

There's often a bit of a debate out there regarding the use of You Tube in the classroom and its appropriateness to embed into Class Blogs.

Often Class Blogs are seen as a 'safe zone' for student browsing and the inclusion of videos from You Tube can be seen by some teachers/schools as a breach to this 'safe zone'.

First up, there is NO doubt that You Tube is one of many valuable tools for teaching.

Teachers at my school use You Tube extensively in the classroom; often to show motivators for writing or instructional type videos (the possibilities are endless).

Due to this, yes, this does mean from time to time teachers also embed videos in the class blog so that students can review the video from home or show their parents etc.

Embedding videos in a blog, is of course preferential to sending students into you tube either via a link (where they will encounter the dreaded sidebar of 'suggested' videos to view and adverts) or to search wildly within You Tube - which is definitely unsafe for primary aged pupils to do at school IMHO.

With a few extra clicks, you can ensure that You Tube videos, useful for the education and learning of your class, can be safely embedded onto your class blog.

Usually when you embed a video, at the conclusion there is a raft of 'suggested' videos that pop up. These can be very distracting for students and unnerving for teachers - there is no way of us knowing what may pop up and this could lead to students clicking on inappropriate content.

Follow these easy instructions when embedding You Tube videos onto your Class Blog as part of your teaching/learning programme:
Locate the video you would like to embed for your students' learningUnderneath the video, look for the "share" button & click it

A box full of options will drop down, choose "embed" 
NOW, uncheck (untick) the tick next to the option that says "Show suggested videos when the video finishes" 
Copy the amended code  

Paste into your Class Blog and Publish (if using Blogger, don't forget to paste in 'HTML' mode) 
You will now have a You Tube video that your students can easily access fotheir learning :)

Here's a video I used in class the other day to teach adjectives in writing:

Until next time, thanks for reading and happy 'You Tubing'.  
Don't forget 'Teacher Tube' also has LOTS of valuable content to check out... more about that another day!
As always, I appreciate your comments!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Soul Session: Ignite, Inspire, Amuse

As a CORE eFellow this year I was privileged to attend a "Soul Session" as part of our Master Class days run by DK at CORE HQ in Christchurch earlier this year.

This was a really neat time when all CORE staff present gathered around on couches and chairs to share in some learning, humour and inspiration together.
I've since adapted this concept and used it with our teachers to begin our Staff Meetings. I have used the tagline "Videos to Enthuse, Amuse or Inspire"

The idea is that each week, groups of teachers (eg. a syndicate) contribute a link/URL to a video online. The videos are used to kick off our staff meeting and are a great way to get all teachers to contribute. Before their video is screened we usually get the person who chose it to give a brief overview or pose a question to ponder while we are watching. We usually show up to 4 videos of approximately 3 mins each so the whole process takes less than 15 minutes. It has proved to be such a great collegial way to begin our meetings. Such a simple, yet brilliant idea.

Staff have commented on their high level of enjoyment and that they also have been sharing the videos to their classes (where appropriate) as well as their friends and families. Each week I also collate all the videos shared by staff on our eLearning PD wiki and email the page so staff can review any videos if they wish. 

So what do you think? 
Could this have any merit if used with your staff? 
Have you tried something similar?
I'd love to hear your ideas, questions or comments.

Once again, a huge THANK YOU to DK for the inspiration to add this special element to our PD programme.

(Image Credit: Saxman B&W)